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Management Consulting Discussion

Discussion in 'Business, Careers & Education' started by Artisan Fan, Feb 7, 2011.

  1. Matt

    Matt Senior member

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  2. Artisan Fan

    Artisan Fan Senior member

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  3. UnFacconable

    UnFacconable Senior member

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    He would be an excellent candidate for McKinsey but he might want to stress his problem solving on his resume. McKinsey likes APDs or advanced professional degrees. They find that mixing these with MBA students creates a team with a variety of perspectives. This is also true for BCG and likely Bain.
    Thanks - my thought as well. I'll talk to him about exploring the application process to become an associate.
     
  4. abc123

    abc123 Senior member

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    He would be an excellent candidate for McKinsey but he might want to stress his problem solving on his resume.

    McKinsey likes APDs or advanced professional degrees. They find that mixing these with MBA students creates a team with a variety of perspectives. This is also true for BCG and likely Bain.


    AF - how about an econ phd, in combination with a 3-5 year background in corp. finance consulting? My interest area is business strategy for new market entry, specifically in emerging markets. I'm considering whether continuing for the phd after finishing my masters is worthwhile from a career perspective. I'd like to do the phd for personal reasons (I genuinely am passionate about what I'd write on), but my long-term interest is not in academia. Would be interest to hear it you think the phd is positive, negative, or neutral for this area.
     
  5. Artisan Fan

    Artisan Fan Senior member

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    AF - how about an econ phd, in combination with a 3-5 year background in corp. finance consulting? My interest area is business strategy for new market entry, specifically in emerging markets. I'm considering whether continuing for the phd after finishing my masters is worthwhile from a career perspective. I'd like to do the phd for personal reasons (I genuinely am passionate about what I'd write on), but my long-term interest is not in academia. Would be interest to hear it you think the phd is positive, negative, or neutral for this area.

    I think this background would be attractive for any of the Big 3 strategy firms, especially if you can show clearly how you have solved real world client problems.
     
  6. scientific

    scientific Senior member

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    I should also mention: Don't let your school or major ever keep you from doing what you want. It's only a roadblock if you make it one.

    if what you want to do involves working for someone else this is not true
     
  7. ramuman

    ramuman Senior member

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    if what you want to do involves working for someone else this is not true

    [​IMG]
     
  8. ns7

    ns7 Well-Known Member

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    +1. McKinsey's standard recruiting process is resume screen --> PST (problem-solving test) --> round 1 interview (2-3 associates/ engagement managers) --> round 2 interview (2-3 partners)

    This is not true, unless they changed it this year. I have interviewed with McK and so have friends of mine (all MBAs) and none have taken the PST. Maybe non-top 10 MBA applicants have to take the test.

    Also, a round 1 interview for an EM would be a lateral hire, not a hire out of school.
     
  9. Redwoood

    Redwoood Senior member

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    [...]
    Also, a round 1 interview for an EM would be a lateral hire, not a hire out of school.


    He meant interviewed by an EM.
    I don't imagine it's quite that rigid. I know of at least one 1st-round interview performed by a partner (for an internship nonetheless).
     
  10. ns7

    ns7 Well-Known Member

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    He meant interviewed by an EM.
    I don't imagine it's quite that rigid. I know of at least one 1st-round interview performed by a partner (for an internship nonetheless).


    This is true, you can be interviewed by partners/principals in the first round. McK does 2 first round interviews and 4 second round interviews. The second round is also a mix of everyone from associates to partners.
     
  11. Metlin

    Metlin Senior member

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    i keep forgetting whether or not this question was answered, but how do you deal with work life balance?

    i'm not afraid of long work hours (i work ~60 hours per week... not a lot by any stretch but it's more than your average 8-5er) and I have a steady relationship

    but how do you deal with work life when you're going away for quite possibly 65% of your weeks?

    i realize that each situation/project is different, but in general, how do most people deal with it?


    After a while, you just get used to it. Where I work, we usually do a 4-1 (fly out Monday, fly back in Thursday evenings), and Fridays are pretty much WFH. Depending on the nature of the engagement, you would either be doing crazy hours for short bursts of time (i.e. sprints) or tough but bearable hours for long amounts of time (i.e. marathons).

    And of course, that's not including sales trips, conferences, random in-firm consulting to help other projects etc.

    What I've found is that typically, the transition from industry to consulting is quite difficult given the hours and the travel, although the transition from other industries (say, banking) is not as difficult since they are used to working crazier hours than we are anyway.
     
  12. R.O. Thornhill

    R.O. Thornhill Senior member

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    After a while, you just get used to it. Where I work, we usually do a 4-1 (fly out Monday, fly back in Thursday evenings), and Fridays are pretty much WFH. Depending on the nature of the engagement, you would either be doing crazy hours for short bursts of time (i.e. sprints) or tough but bearable hours for long amounts of time (i.e. marathons).

    And of course, that's not including sales trips, conferences, random in-firm consulting to help other projects etc.

    What I've found is that typically, the transition from industry to consulting is quite difficult given the hours and the travel, although the transition from other industries (say, banking) is not as difficult since they are used to working crazier hours than we are anyway.



    Agree - after a few years you just get used to it. I probably work 65-70 hours per week on average; am away from home two nights a week; and take something in the region of 100 flights a year. But all things considered, I would say that it is a totally manageable lifestyle. Of course, it was worse when I was more junior (mainly what was frustrating is not having control over your hours, and the unpredictability of crunces), and I couldn't do it without a very supporting wife
     
  13. yjeezle

    yjeezle Senior member

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    so what's a more "junior" employee's experience like? so is it fair to assume that after a few years you'll have more manageable hours and, to some extent, be able to deal with the unpredictability of time crunches?

    a little background on myself: i'm currently working for a global 100 employer in reverse logistics. i'm also planning on getting my mba within a few years. i'm really interested in operations and how to reduce cost and increase value in operations (either repair, manufacturing, etc.). is there a market for type of consultant and how competitive is this industry? what companies should i be looking at?

    my typical day usually ends up with me coming into the office at ~7AM and leaving sometime ~7PM. Some days we do have conference calls with our overseas subsidiaries, so there are days where we can stay a little bit longer.
     
  14. Artisan Fan

    Artisan Fan Senior member

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    so what's a more "junior" employee's experience like? so is it fair to assume that after a few years you'll have more manageable hours and, to some extent, be able to deal with the unpredictability of time crunches?

    In my experience, yes. The hours will still be rough at times such as when you have "progress reviews" which are essentially early deliverables at a mid-way or so milestone that are presented to the client to make sure there is agreement on direction of the team.
     
  15. Joel_Cairo

    Joel_Cairo Senior member

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    (sorry, had not seen this thread when I posted a link elsewhere. This seems an even better place to add this for discussion[​IMG] Highly recommend (McK alum) Yves Smith's post: "the problem with consulting is you are hired by the problem... The most profitable clients are the most diseased. And the corollary, as stated by a former colleague: McKinsey is in the business of propping up diseased managements." http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2011/...onsulting.html
     
  16. Metlin

    Metlin Senior member

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    so what's a more "junior" employee's experience like? so is it fair to assume that after a few years you'll have more manageable hours and, to some extent, be able to deal with the unpredictability of time crunches? a little background on myself: i'm currently working for a global 100 employer in reverse logistics. i'm also planning on getting my mba within a few years. i'm really interested in operations and how to reduce cost and increase value in operations (either repair, manufacturing, etc.). is there a market for type of consultant and how competitive is this industry? what companies should i be looking at? my typical day usually ends up with me coming into the office at ~7AM and leaving sometime ~7PM. Some days we do have conference calls with our overseas subsidiaries, so there are days where we can stay a little bit longer.
    I know that Navigant does consulting in logistics. Some of the Big 4's advisory practices (particularly PwC and Deloitte) also do manufacturing logistics, but mostly in Europe and the Middle East. Assuming I've a domestic client, I usually have a 6 am flight on Mondays, so I wake up ~4 AM and get ready and head to the airport. I typically work from 7 am - 8 pm on most days, and on days when I've a major deliverable (or when the partner/client needs something immediately), it could be worse. And then, I take the Thursday late evening flight out back home, and get home around midnight. I usually put 12-15 hours of work Mon-Thu, and my Fridays are usually spent on status calls, sales calls etc. Depending on your level, you will be judged on firm contributions (i.e. intellectual capital, helping with business development, training, recruiting etc). So, I usually spend my Fridays (and the rest of my week -- usually on my flights) working on some of those materials. As far as weekends go, I typically work only a third of my weekends in a year, and it has improved from a couple of years ago when I was more junior, when it was half my weekends. Although, as you get closer to being a partner, it will go up again, because I see Principals as being as overworked as Analysts and Associates. [​IMG]
    if you develop specialized knowledge within an industry, you can work for a vc or startup
    +Infinity. At the of the day, most consulting gigs are 70% fluff and 30% substance. Doing your own thing is way more fun.
     
  17. Artisan Fan

    Artisan Fan Senior member

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    (sorry, had not seen this thread when I posted a link elsewhere. This seems an even better place to add this for discussion[​IMG]

    Highly recommend (McK alum) Yves Smith's post:

    "the problem with consulting is you are hired by the problem... The most profitable clients are the most diseased. And the corollary, as stated by a former colleague: McKinsey is in the business of propping up diseased managements."

    http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2011/...onsulting.html


    I basically said this on the Gupta thread I started:

    I do believe that the view that McK is in the "business of propping up diseased managements" is a bit unfair. At the least McKinsey helps many good to great companies perform better as well. In my experience there McKinsey is also fairly selective at working on meaningful projects or they will walk away.
     
  18. yjeezle

    yjeezle Senior member

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    I know that Navigant does consulting in logistics. Some of the Big 4's advisory practices (particularly PwC and Deloitte) also do manufacturing logistics, but mostly in Europe and the Middle East.

    I usually put 12-15 hours of work Mon-Thu, and my Fridays are usually spent on status calls, sales calls etc. Depending on your level, you will be judged on firm contributions (i.e. intellectual capital, helping with business development, training, recruiting etc). So, I usually spend my Fridays (and the rest of my week -- usually on my flights) working on some of those materials.

    As far as weekends go, I typically work only a third of my weekends in a year, and it has improved from a couple of years ago when I was more junior, when it was half my weekends. Although, as you get closer to being a partner, it will go up again, because I see Principals as being as overworked as Analysts and Associates. [​IMG]

    Could you clarify what you mean about your Fridays?
     
  19. Metlin

    Metlin Senior member

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    Could you clarify what you mean about your Fridays?
    Well, my Fridays are usually spent on getting my engagement partners caught up on the details of the work we're doing, new developments and opportunities client relationship development etc. In consulting, your performance is a combination of your role on your engagement as well as your role in helping the firm. For instance, your performance on engagements on an annual basis would be the quality of your deliverables, your utilization (i.e. how much time you spent on the bench vs. at a client), your chargeability/billability etc. Your role in helping the firm would be how much revenue you brought in through new business development and sales, how much intellectual capital you generated through publications and new IC, how much you helped the firm in other intangible ways through your efforts in recruiting, branding etc. So, it is expected that in addition to the work you're doing, you are also helping the firm with other things. In fact, the higher you go, your engagement performance becomes less and less important (i.e. around 50% of your review) and your firm contribution becomes more vital. Or perhaps, your firm contributions become just as important as your engagement performance, if not more. So, my Fridays are pretty much filled with those activities, and less of actual work. It's also a great day to get caught up to other folks within the firm, go to your local office, meet a few partners or principals for lunch, offer to help folks with their engagements and generally network.
     
  20. Lord-Barrington

    Lord-Barrington Senior member

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    (sorry, had not seen this thread when I posted a link elsewhere. This seems an even better place to add this for discussion[​IMG]

    Highly recommend (McK alum) Yves Smith's post:

    "the problem with consulting is you are hired by the problem... The most profitable clients are the most diseased. And the corollary, as stated by a former colleague: McKinsey is in the business of propping up diseased managements."

    http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2011/...onsulting.html


    I find this to be a bit of an unfair article. Having dealt with some management consultants in my job (and I don't work for a "diseased" company, mind you) I think the vast majority of professionals in that industry are as serious about providing tangible results as they are about billing hours and bringing in revenue. Taking on a truly "diseased" client is risky for a MC firm because of they fail it can reflect poorly on their work, rightly or wrongly.
     

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